Winding Road Theater Ensemble Presents The Lion in Winter
Glen Coffman Directs Period Play at Christ Presbyterian Church
(TUCSON, Ariz.) Winding Road Theater Ensemble presents The Lion in Winter by James Goldman. The play takes place at Christmas 1183 as Henry II’s family comes together for its annual feast of political maneuvering, sibling rivalry and family dysfunction. As alliances shift, family members attempt to manipulate each other for their own goals, a delightful collision of family, love and politics at Yuletide. Directed by Glen Coffman, The Lion in Winter will be presented at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E. Broadway Blvd. (north side of Broadway, one block east of Wilmot). It opens Jan. 14, and runs Jan. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 2011. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $18 (with senior, student, military and theatre artist discounts). Call 520-401-3626 for reservations and information. Cash and checks only at the door. Credit card sales are available at www.windingroadtheater.org.
The Lion in Winter Cast:
The Lion in Winter cast features Winding Road Ensemble members Terry Erbe (Henry II), Lesley Abrams (Eleanor of Aquitaine) and Amy Erbe (Alais). Four other strong actors round out the cast: Christopher Johnson (Richard), Steve Wood (Geoffrey), Paul Matlock (John) and Nick Trice (Philip II).
About The Lion in Winter:
James Goldman’s historical play The Lion in Winter depicts the interpersonal relationships among members of the English royal family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of the year 1183. The play is set in the castle of King Henry II of England, located in Chinon, in the English-ruled region of France. Goldman’s screenplay adaptation of The Lion in Winter, which was released in 1968, won him an Academy Award.
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The Lion in Winter concerns the interpersonal dynamics and political wrangling of King Henry; his wife Eleanor, whom he has kept imprisoned in a tower for the past 10 years; and their three sons, who are vying for the privilege of being named heir to the English throne. Eleanor, who has been let out of prison to celebrate Christmas with her family, favors Richard as heir, while Henry favors John. To complicate matters, the young King Philip II of France has arrived to remind Henry of a treaty he signed many years earlier, promising to marry his heir to Philip’s sister Alais. However, Alais has been Henry’s mistress for the past seven years, and Henry is hesitant to marry her off to any of his sons.
The Lion in Winter explores themes of dysfunctional family, political maneuvering, war and peace, as well as aging, death, inheritance and posterity. As the principal characters plot, scheme, conspire, and counter-plot between each other, the deep-seated emotional ties between them get played out in the political arena, such that sibling rivalry and marital jealousy translate into civil war, treason, and perhaps even murder among the members of a royal nuclear family.
About James Goldman:
A playwright who was fascinated by history, Goldman is best known as the author of the screenplay The Lion in Winter. Goldman was born in Chicago, and earned bachelors and a master’s degree at the University of Chicago before moving on to Columbia University, when his education was interrupted by the Korean War. After serving for two years as a private in the U.S. Army, Goldman decided to become a full-time writer. His first successful play, They Might Be Giants, a satire on the lunacy of life in New York City, was produced in 1961 in London's East End. Goldman's other outstanding success came in 1971 with Follies, a musical by Stephen Sondheim for which he wrote the book. Goldman was known for his love of history; other screenplay credits include the 1971 epic Nicholas and Alexandra, about the last days of Russia's last royal family, and the 1976 drama Robin and Marian, in which Robin Hood and Maid Marian reunite after a separation of 20 years. A novel, Myself as Witness (1980), about England's King John, is considered something of a sequel to The Lion in Winter. For television, he adapted Oliver Twist in 1982 and Anna Karenina in 1985. Goldman died in 1998.
About Winding Road Theater Ensemble:
Winding Road Theater is an Ensemble of theater artists whose mission is to tell dynamic, theatrical stories that illuminate the human condition and celebrate the theatre’s power to entertain us, move us and bring us joy. Guided by the principle that proscription is the enemy of imagination, they produce plays classic and new, traditional and unconventional, comic and tragic, and tell stories from as many perspectives as they are fortunate to discover. Tucson-theater artists Lesley Abrams, Glen Coffman, Amy Erbe, Terry Erbe and Toni Press-Coffman established the Ensemble in 2009.
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